Western conference fans had best make plans for the duration, the Ducks and the Wings appear headed for a game seven showdown. Detroit had its best possible opportunity to put the series out of reach for the Ducks on Thursday night, but a furious first period from Anaheim set the tone for game number four and the prospect of an early end to the conference final seems beyond reach now.
Without Chris Pronger in the line up due to suspension, the Ducks still managed to keep to their game plan of fast break hockey into the Wings end of the rink, hard hitting checks along the boards and shots at Domenic Hasek. A recipe that spotted them to a 3-0 lead before the Wings could get untracked.
Teemu Selanne led the way, breaking out of a four game scoring slump to pick up a goal and two assists on the way to a 5-3 victory over the Wings, tying the best of seven series at 2 games a piece, with game five heading back to Detroit on Sunday afternoon.
The win by Anaheim was a bit of penance for their non appearance in game three which saw the Wings take the Ducks to school by a score of 5-0, resulting in a frustrated Ducks team taking far too many pointless penalties, the costliest one Chris Pronger’s ugly smash of Tomas Holstrom into the glass, a hit for which he found himself suspended over for Thursday nights game.
The Wings made some uncharacteristic giveaways and found themselves fighting back all night long, coming close in the third period to catching the Ducks only to see them salt away the game in the final few minutes.
Sunday brings the Wings back home to the Joe and a chance to pick up the momentum once again with a win to head back to Anaheim with but one more win to gain for admittance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Some of the coverage of the Ducks and Wings...
Bad memory's good
Fitting In: Bertuzzi gives what Wings need
The good, the bad, and the Bertuzzi
QUACKSHOTS: Wings rally twice, but fall short to Ducks
Expect the unexpected